Contrary to popular opinion, Creativity is not a light bulb.
Sure, she has moments when the light bulb of inspiration appears, but she herself is not the light bulb.
You can’t just switch your Creativity on and off, expecting that each time you press your magic ‘CREATE’ button he/she will reappear as bright as ever. People seem to believe that’s the way we Creativities work, but it’s complete codswallop.
Put the bucket on the other foot for a minute. Imagine if the person you most wanted to please in the whole wide world kept telling you to ‘sit quietly in that cold, dark corner until I call,’ and then went about their life without you. How would you feel? By the time this person gets around to calling you, the solitude has sapped all your spark and you’re feeling less than charitable towards your old idol.
You pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down here?
For Creativity to turn up and help when you call, you really need to make sure Creativity is with you all the time. None of this switching on and off. None of this banishing to the corner stuff. If you want Creativity in your life, switch on and leave on!
But here comes the question: What do you do with Creativity once he/she is permanently switched on?
I’ve heard some people describe their Creativity as disruptive, rude, loud etc. I suppose I can see what they mean, although I’d prefer to use such words as effervescent, fearless and schloopy.
But arguing semantics is not going to change your Creativity’s behaviour or your viewpoint, so I’ll try another way. Let me explain how to live with your Creativity permanently switched on.
First of all, remember that Creativity isn’t just good for creative writing, painting, inventing, composing. He/she can impact everything from the way you wear your hair to how you plan your time to what you buy at the grocery store. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.
So invite your Creativity’s opinion, even on the mundane aspects of life. Look for moments where your Creativity could have some input. Should you wear the black dress or the light blue? What about the black dress with a pink headband and your silk butterfly scarf tied about your waist?
What if the wife wants to you do some gardening in the middle of your favourite sporting event? Perhaps you can painstakingly weed the azalea bed right next to the lounge room window. Then you get to garden and watch through the glass at the same time. (Important to have beer and remote control with you. And don’t cheer too loud or she’ll begin to wonder how those good-for-nothing pain-in-the-proverbial plants suddenly became worthy of the Mexican Wave.)
There are so many opportunities to use your Creativity every day. When cleaning, cooking, exercising, laughing, crying, learning, working, holidaying…the list can go on and on…but I’ll leave that to your imagination. The important thing is Creativity can have an amazing influence and enrich every aspect of your life.
Another suggestion for living with your Creativity is to carry a notebook with you at all times. When your Creativity is active, he/she is prone to light bulbs of inspiration. If you’re not able to follow up on those ideas right away, make sure you write them down somewhere. This helps you to remember the idea, and shows your Creativity that you take him/her seriously. Prove that you value every idea, and you’ll get a whole lot more of them. (We’ll deal with what to do with too many ideas in another post. At this point, just revel in the output.)
Journaling is also a good method of keeping your Creativity active. Set aside a time every day where you pour your creative ramblings onto the page. Your Creativity will get into a routine of turning up on cue and will be ready with new things to write about. Because we Creativities do like routine. Sometimes. It’s complicated. I’ll post about it later.
Now, while this point is not my favourite, I do understand why it needs to be said. There are those times when you have to distract your Creativity (and have something to distract with). Perhaps during an important business meeting or a special outing or an MRI. Somewhere, sometime when you can’t include your Creativity. At that point, tactfully suggest that he/she pop into the back rooms of your mind somewhere and chill. If this gentle hint doesn’t do the job, then pull out a conundrum, for example: “What do a raven and a writing desk have in common?” Hopefully this will force your Creativity into think mode and give you a little quiet to do whatever it is you need to do.
Don’t be quick to put this step into action though. You may find Creativity is actually useful during business meetings, special outings and MRIs. I believe I was of great help to Jessica during her MRI. (Although, come to think of it you’ll have to ask her if she feels the same way.) Still, if you happen upon a rare occasion where you do need your mental space, that’s my suggestion.
As you look for opportunities to include your Creativity in everyday things, you’ll find his/her influence in your life will grow. When people talk about ‘a creative person’ they mean someone who exudes creativeness. Who walks, talks, eats and sleeps creatively. That may sound overwhelming and unachievable but the truth is anyone can do it– you just have to be brave enough to start. Once you do, you’ll continue to discover new aspects of your life where Creativity can have a input. It’s like pouring molasses. Getting that first little bit out of the tin is hard work, but once it’s going, you can’t stop it until it’s covered everything you own in sticky goodness.
Sound daunting, embarrassing, intense, stressful, impossible?
Don’t worry. Stick around and I’ll walk you through it.
Do you feel the influence of your Creativity in your everyday life? Please comment. We’d love to hear about it.
Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art